Text: Kavitha Krishnamurthy
Sai Nrityothsav is a monthly dance festival conducted by Sai International on the 1st of every month. The last edition of Sai Nrityothsav for the year 2018 was a power packed one. The programme kick-started with a brilliant Bharatanatyam performance by Raksha Devanathan from Chennai, a disciple of Guru Nandeesh and Indu Nandeesh. She began with a Jathiswaram which was choreographed by her Gurus. It was composed in Raga Rasikapriya and set to Adi tala. Next, she presented a Kriti ‘Arputha Narthanam’. In this, she describes Lord Ganesha as the one who dances enigmatically in harmony with the music rendered by the lords on various instruments. The Kriti was in Nattai raga and set to Adi tala. She displayed her Abhinaya skills through a Bhajan ‘Javatha Javatha Jogi.’ In this Bhajan, Meera expresses her distress to her Sakhi. She longs for the affection of Lord Sri Krishna and repents on why he is not the same towards her and why he is being so indifferent to her. Although he does not hold on to her, Meera’s Lord Shyama will be ever dear to her as her love for him rises beyond everything. The Bhajan was in raga Desh and set to Adi tala.
Disciple of Guru Shantala R Prabath presented her students Poojitha. She commenced her recital with Sringapuradeeshwari, a kriti sung in praise of Sringeri Sharadhe. Composed by AV Krishnamachar the music was in raga Kalyani set to Adi tala. In raga Kapi set to Roopaka tala she next presented the Kavali Parulanna maata. As the concluding item, Poojitha chose a Stuti on Lord Shiva, ‘Pradosha Samayadi’, in raga Poorvikalyani set to Adi tala. She did complete justice to her performance with the right blend of Nritya and Abhinaya.
Zuairiyah Mouli came next. A resident of Bangladesh, she is currently pursuing her masters degree in Bharatnatyam from Bangalore University. She started with a Keerthana ‘Sringara Lahari’ in Neelambari raga set to Adi tala. She then moved to a Shiva Padam in Ragamalika set to Adi tala. She ended with a Bhajan ‘Chaliye Kunjanamo’ in Brindavani raga and Adi tala. With her power-packed performance, she proved that art has no barriers of language, geographical boundaries, religion or creed.
The next performance was by Harshini Purshotham, disciple of Sandesh Bhargav from Mysore. Starting with a Melaprapti and Bhagavatha Shloka in Ragamalika set to Mishrachapu tala. She continued with a Padam ‘Yaro Ivar Yaro’ composed by Arunachala Kavirayar. In her third and final presentation, she performed a Devaranama ‘Baagilanu teredu’, a composition of Sri Kanaka Dasa. The song was in Ragamalika and set to Khanda chapu tala. The items were wisely chosen by her giving equal importance to Abhinaya and Nritta.
Students of Karnataka Kalashree Guru Dr Suparna Venkatesh were presented by Veena Chandrashekhar, one of her senior disciples. The kids started with a Pushpanjali ‘Ga Pa Ni Da’ in raga Valachi set to Adi tala. They moved to perform an Alarippu in Tisra Eka tala and concluded with a Kouthuvam on Lord Ganesha which was in Chaturashra Eka tala. The evening ended with a felicitation to all the artists.